The most important asset of a company is its product. And the most important aspect of a company’s business is the sale of the product to the customers. What lies between these two is the 2 important T’s of Logistics – Transportation & Tracking. Transportation simply means the movement of goods from one place to another. And tracking helps one gain visibility over this movement of products beyond the Company’s control zone. Thus, using the right combination of transportation & tracking can help optimize costs and make the best out of your business. Let us start exploring these two areas individually.
Transportation is a stand-alone component of Logistics management. It needs its own man-power, planning, strategy, goal, and a budget in order to keep the operational costs in control. And the first step towards transportation management is deciding on the strategy. The following are the most popular strategies for managing fleets for both, inbound & outbound transportation.
Own/Private fleet – In order to gain complete control over the supply chain and transport operations, some shippers tend to have their own fleet to transport products. Generally, companies with high-value products or a higher brand value choose this option as they have the liberty of man-power as well as funds to manage the fleet operations. Pepsico, Frito-lay operates the second-largest fleet in the US.
Outsourced fleet with leasing – For companies who want the exclusivity of the fleet without getting into its handling & maintenance can opt for the option of leasing. This option is perfect for the companies that produce and dispatch a higher number of items on a daily basis and who have a clear mindset of not venturing into a logistics company.
Outsourcing fleet on a contract basis – Another option similar to leasing is having a contract with the logistics service provider on the basis of mutually agreeable terms like a share of the business, location of services, cost of trips, etc. This further helps the company save on logistics costs by only paying for the service they avail of on the basis of pre-decided factors.
Approaching Market vehicles – If a company doesn’t want to get into any kind of contract for transportation with LSPs, they can opt-in for market vehicles as and when the need arises. Though one may save on costs by using this strategy, there are chances of spending even more when the market increases the prices under the influence of external factors like govt regulations, fuel prices, peak season demands, etc.
Combination of these – All the above-mentioned strategies have their pros and cons (described in the table below). Depending on the business goals and policies, a company can choose to go with a combination of any two, three, or all four of these.
The advancement in technology and the ever-mounting product demands have made it imperative to have a solution that can give visibility and control over the end to end logistics processes. Thus, tracking has a major influence in deciding on the right transportation strategy for your business. A proactive tracking solution can help a company identify the problems right at the source and rectify it before it becomes big enough to impact the cost to the business.
Benefits of a tracking solution-
– Real-time location of shipments in transit
– Timely updates of delays/break-downs
– Help monitor and optimize the routes
– Minimizes theft risk
– Monitor driver performance on factors like overspeeding, timely deliveries, shortest routes
– Improve fuel cost efficiency by monitoring routes followed
– Record trip-wise information
– Quick decisions in case of any breakdowns, road-blocks or other unforeseen situations
– Maintain reports and dashboards to monitor vendor performance
– Improved trust with customers
– Increased customer satisfaction due to timely deliveries
– Complete visibility to all the stakeholders
Whether you have a private fleet, an outsourced one, or a mix of both, Elixia’s Transport Allocation System can help you manage your orders, perform allocations, negotiate with the vendor, maintain tracking details and record the status of shipments at all times. The product also helps you extract past performance reports of vendors/drivers/trips. This further helps you rank and analyze your contract terms with the transportation firm.
The scope of tracking and tracking solutions vary with the kind of transportation business one selects. Elixia provides a wide range of products that can help you track your shipments in-transit irrespective of your preferred strategy/norms of transportation. Here’s a brief overview of Elixia’s product mix to help you track & trace your shipments.
Elixia Speed – GPS based vehicle tracking solution can help you track and trace your shipments 24*7. The product is also capable of sending real-time alerts during situations like vehicle breakdowns, delayed deliveries and en-route stoppages. One can also customize notifications as per their business requirement.
Elixia Radar – This solution tracks the shipments using the driver’s SIM card, no hardware installation, smartphone, or internet connection needed. The shipper can choose the frequency of location alerts and only pay as per the usage.
Elixia Trace – This GPS based portable tracking device is the perfect solution to get real-time updates and alerts even when shipments are dispatched through market vehicles. This comes in handy when shipments go through more than one vehicle to reach the customer.
Elixia Monitor – This solution is a must-have for cold chain logistics. It records the temperature and humidity of cold chain products both during storage and transit. It then sends real-time conflict alerts and notifications. This product is available with both, our GPS tracking device Speed & portable tracking device Trace.
Elixia Integrated Platform – This solution is the end-to-end tracking solution for companies dealing with their own as well as market vehicles. It seamlessly integrates with the other vendor’s GPS tracking systems and gives reports on one single platform. Thus, it saves time usually spent in coordinating with individual members and checking their individual portals.